June CATalysta* Caroline Golon
*A CATalysta is a person or organization that celebrates and champions the cat.
Caroline Golon began her journey in animal welfare in 2009 when she got involved with the animal community on social media. She started a blog about her cat, http://www.romeothecat.com, and, through this blog, met all kinds of wonderful people online. She soon discovered more about the plight of the homeless animals in our country and vowed to help change that. She began raising money for shelters and rescues on her site and to date has raised $85,000.
But even more important to her was to write and promote the joys of pets, especially cats, so she expanded her blog and began writing for other outlets as well. People who don’t have experience with cats don’t usually have a positive perception of them, but any cat owner, including Caroline, knows that the majority of cats are delightful, hilarious, loving creatures.
There are, sadly, so many cats in shelters who need loving homes, and Caroline sees the solution to this as is a two-fold issue: change peoples’ minds about cats and then encourage more cat adoptions. It’s a hefty problem, but she’s always been up for the challenge! In 2010, Caroline co-founded Blog Paws, which is a pet blogging community and yearly conference. Caroline and her co-founders wanted to bring all of the passionate pet people together to help make a difference for pets, and their efforts were a great success; this year will mark the 7th conference.
Currently, Caroline writes for several pet-centric websites like Vetstreet.com, ASPCA Parents, Catster and Dogster. She also has her own websites, http://www.romerothecat.com, www.crayonsandcollars.com, and www.thehappylitterbox.com. This site stems from the other important issue of KEEPING cats in their homes. Most shelters report that many cats are relinquished to them because of litter box issues – the cat is not going where he should, which is just a heartbreaking reason for a cat to be homeless. Caroline explains that her own cat, Romeo, has litter box issues which can be frustrating but there are always ways to work it out. Thehappylitterbox.com gives cat owners a resource to help them find solutions to this issue and to keep more cats in their homes. She receives emails every day saying that the information on the site helped solve their issues. She claims it’s a labor of love but success stories make every minute she spends on the site well worth it!
All of this writing enables Caroline to spread the word about how much animals add to our lives. Through the years as she’s met more and more people and become aware of more initiatives, she’s gotten more and more involved where she can and tried to connect people who might be able to help each other. She also works with a couple pet brands to help them with their content development, social media and PR efforts. She chooses brands that have a strong inclination towards animal welfare and help them leverage their efforts to help animals in need.
Of course, Caroline does have cats of her own: two rescued Persians named Romeo, age 12, and Pugsley, age 11. Romeo has a kidney disease which makes him constantly thirsty, so Caroline cannot keep a water glass anywhere near him because, despite the fact that he has “drinking stations” all over the house, he only wants HER fresh water. He also loves to wake her up by meowing in her face or pawing at her; he uses a different “tactic” every day.
Pugsley, she says, is just a love bug. He would make a great therapy cat because he’s so chill. The funniest thing he does is right before mealtime, he “yells” at her to hurry up. He throws his entire body into his very passionate (and very hungry) meows. It cracks Caroline up every time. They both make her laugh every day. One of her favorite things is that the cats like to be right next to each other all the time. She loves to discover them behind the couch, lounging together in a sun puddle, for example.
She loves her boys and clearly all other cats, too! Thank you, Caroline, for all of the resources and enlightenment you have brought to cat lovers everywhere.